Sonia Sardana’s involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion began when, as a teenager, she tutored young women in math and science as part of YWCA mentorship programs meant to introduce young women to STEAM careers. “Women and girls are very curious. They want to learn, but it’s about creating more ‘a-ha’ moments for them,” she says. “It’s so fulfilling for them to see that.”
Sardana continues her DE&I efforts as senior VP of ACS Solutions, one of the largest diversity-owned staffing firms in the US. She created a diversity playbook for her team of more than 800 recruiters to demonstrate how to use inclusive language in job postings and advertisements to recruit diverse talent. And in 2020, she helped form the ACS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to help guide the company’s leadership. “It is imperative for companies to self-reflect on their employees and processes to understand what needs to change to be more inclusive,” she says.
To drive the feeling of inclusion, ACS celebrated Black History Month by highlighting the contribution of Black employees on social media channels and hosted a webcast that discussed the impact of the digital divide and solutions in communities of color. During Women’s History Month, ACS hosted a webcast featuring accomplished female thought leaders and celebrated female employees on all social channels.
ACS is in the process of launching a vendor management system that will enable the company to track, monitor and target efforts designed to garner participation from historically excluded communities. Additionally, ACS last year spent more than $100 million on diversity-owned firms.
Sardana is also president of the ACS Foundation, which she co-founded in 2013. Among its endeavors are partnerships with the YWCA; Women in Technology, an organization that empowers girls and women at every stage of their STEAM careers; and several other female empowerment organizations. The foundation has sponsored coding boot camps for girls in STEAM as well as events to create interest in software development careers. To date, the foundation has provided more than $150,000 worth of scholarships and technology to more than 1,000 deserving young women.
2022 DE&I Influencers List